What Jamaican Sound System Culture?
What is Jamaican Sound System Culture? The word sound system means different things in different contexts.
To put it differently In the context of Jamaican music,a sound system refers to a group of DJs/selectors,
MCs, and sound engineers, playing different genres of music on a stack of speakers.
Typically, a sound system is setup to produce thundering bass and clear sound quality.
For sure sound systems have been an integral part of Jamaican music culture since the 1950s.
The sound system culture has defined Jamaican music and history in a unique way,making it outstanding from other cultures.
Today, sound systems are the lifeblood of all Jamaican music,that is to say Jamaican sound system culture it’s
Without doubt Sound system Culture isn’t only within the borders of Jamaica but rather a global phenomenon characterized
by large scale music festivals,the sound system culture came about in the 1950s in the streets of Kingston Jamaica.
DJs, MCs,and sound engineers would set up huge stacks of blazing speakers in the Jamaican streets.
Originally,they played Rhythm and blues,uptempo ska but later shifted to local produce music.
Jamaican Sound systems culture were actually introduced to replace orchestras,which were deemed expensive for the locals.
I will have to say over the years, Jamaican sound system culture has been greeted in different parts of the world essentially
unchanged,along with entertaining the locals, the owners of sound systems and event promoters aimed at
generating income from the street parties.The organizers of the parties charged the public
a small fee for admission into the event venue.In this case the sale of food and alcohol at the event venue created big business for the DJs and event organizers.
By the mid-1950s, sound systems had incorporated new features, including live musicians
custom-built speakers, sound clash, and local music, all of which made the culture even more popular.
A major revolution within the sound system culture occurred in the 1960s when reggae music emerged,
The intensified competition of sound systems led to extraordinary innovation with different sound systems
competing to out-do each other it was a this time in history, that Dancehall music genre make its emergence
thus the rebirth of Dancehall reggae music sound systems also provided a platform for promoters
to distribute reggae music in urban areas and rural settings.Over the years, Jamaican immigrants exported sound clash to the U.K and other countries.
London was among the first cities to embrace the sound system culture, after which other cities such as Birmingham, Bristol followed suit.
Jamaican sound system culture has been associated with the emergence of hip hop in the 1970s.
The culture of break-dance typical in hip hop was copied from reggae sound system culture,besides,this culture is credited with the birth of multiple generations,of popular music such as Dubstep, Jungle, and Drum n Bass.
Even though sound system crews were mostly self-taught with no formal training in sound engineering and music production,
the crews’ authenticity and passion for music helped to create an influential music culture in Jamaica and beyond.
Even with limited resources and lack of a proper platform to promote music talent, some of the biggest stars in the dancehall and reggae fraternity emerged from this sound system culture.
With over seven decades of revolutionizing music culture and providing a platform for emerging artists, sound systems remain the heartbeat of Jamaican music.